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UBRI: a look into the future

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1 hour ago, crypto_deus said:

All right folks, let's dive into #UBRI initiative and see what is it all about. I see a lot of ******** and idiotic comments passing by about this UBRI initative. Let's see what kind of jobs are going to be created. I'm going to expand this topic as I go (I just started to look into this out of curiosity)...

UBRI-numbering given below starts from the top-left corner and ends at the bottom-right corner following Ripple's academic partners shown at https://ubri.ripple.com/

UBRI#1: Australian National University (ANU) College of Law


The Australian National University has become the first in the country to secure US$1 million to research and create courses around the legal implications for the law profession and governments from the emerging technologies of blockchain, smart contracts, and digital payments.

Scott Chamberlain (https://twitter.com/scotty2ten and https://twitter.com/morley_alana/status/1098807708533178368), a Senior Lecturer in the ANU College of Law, has received the funds from US-based cryptocurrency exchange platform Ripple, as part of its US$50m University Blockchain Research Initiative.

“The internet has exploded the amount of interactions and information we can share with other people, but it didn’t explode trust,” Mr Chamberlain says. “That leads to all sorts of things like online identify theft and intellectual property infringements. “Part of what Ripple’s looking at is can blockchain add a value layer to that, so the Internet of Data matches with the Internet of Value. “We’re proud to be both the first Law faculty and the first Australian university involved in this exciting research initiative,”. “The legal implications for these emerging technologies are immense, and we are thrilled that our staff and students will be in the front row of researching what it all means for the legal profession and governments.” Mr Chamberlain and his research partners, starting with software developers, will study whether emerging financial technologies can help.

“I’m looking at what I call the ‘Lex Automagica Tech Stack’ – blockchain, plus digital assets, plus smart contracts, plus AI (Artificial Intelligence), plus AR and VR (Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality – that can power our societies like clockwork.”

“There’s a whole lot of things that need research, it’s not just blockchain but legal tech in general. The whole space is a Cambrian explosion of new and wonderful things to sink your teeth into.”

Mr Chamberlain plans to create two postgraduate Masters courses in first semester 2020, subject to approvals, that examine the technology proposals in theory and practice.


UBRI#2: Delft University of Technology


By the way, you can still apply for these jobs!

PhD Design and Implement Security Protocols for Blockchains

Department/faculty: Faculty Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science

Level: University Graduate

Working hours: 38-40 hours weekly

Contract: 4 Years

Salary: 2222 - 2840 euros monthly (full-time basis)

Goals of this collaboration are to design and implement security protocols for blockchains as well as developing effective and efficient solutions for testing and verification. In the first phase of the collaboration, we are hiring two Ph.D. students, who will be daily supervised by experts in both Software Engineering and Distributed Systems.

The two PhD positions will focus on the following research areas:

1. AI-based Software Testing.

The development, maintenance, and testing of blockchains involve many activities that are complex, expensive and error-prone. In this project, we aim to automate testing activities by leveraging artificial intelligence algorithms (e.g., by using search-based and machine learning algorithms). The goal is, for example, to assess the implementation of the consensus algorithms or testing blockchain applications against security attacks (e.g., double-spending attacks).

Background: Software Testing, Optimization Search Algorithms, Blockchain (optional)

Supervisors: Annibale Panichella, Arie van Deursen

More information: apanichella.github.io, se.ewi.tudelft.nl/sbse.html 

2. Real-World Blockchain Scalability and Security.

Theoretical models and actual networks differ in a number of points. In this project, we aim to measure Ripple how is used in the wild. Based on these results, we want to develop more suitable algorithms. Potential examples include improved consensus algorithms, improved scalability, and designing privacy-preserving protocols.

Background: Distributed Systems, Network Security, Blockchain

Supervisors: Stefanie Roos, **** Epema

More information: www.tudelft.nl/delft-blockchain-lab ,https://ds..ewi.tudelft.nl/

While the two PhD positions focus on two different areas, the candidates will collaborate closely. Besides, we expect the candidates to spend some time working at Ripple offices for deploying the developed solutions.


- An excellent master's degree (or equivalent) in computer science, with a strong interest in at least one of the following ares: Software Testing, Distributed Systems, Network Security, Optimization and Artificial Intelligence. Experience with Blockchain is not mandatory but it is highly beneficial

- Strong programming skills are required, preferably in C and/or C++


UBRI#3: Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV)



One of the most tangible effects of UBRI at FGV was a new Master’s Degree in Crypto Finance that Professor Rochman helped launch in 2017. The program is the first of its kind in Brazil. It emphasizes economics and finance and revolves around the core disciplines of math and statistics. It began with courses on pricing assets and derivatives and computer skills and has since expanded to include courses on crypto finance and crypto economics.

These newer courses cover blockchain structures, consensus, and both micro-and-macro-economics in relation to these new technologies. The crypto finance course is specific to cryptocurrencies and delves into how crypto is viewed by other industries, alt-coins, and even how to build a new cryptocurrency.

The program also features a course on cyber security. Professor Rochman says students in the course can learn about cryptographic security, various algorithms related to security, and how changes can impact end users or investors. Interestingly, he mentioned this course deals with physical security as well. For example, where to place computers, how to build and secure a data room, and other real-world challenges.

Students taking part in all these courses have access to a crypto finance lab where they program with bitcoin and use both bitcoin script language and python. They can also take electives that allow them to specialize in crypto subjects related to data science, AI, Internet of Things, and other similar economics or business topics. The goal being to foster an understanding of and interest in the application of blockchain and crypto to adjacent industries.



UBRI#4: BerkleyHaas


Berkeley Haas will receive a multi-year, multi-million-dollar gift from Ripple to build on the school’s leadership in advancing understanding of how these technologies are transforming multiple industries, and in educating leaders who will bring them to market. The school will develop a comprehensive program focused on blockchain and distributed systems, as well as cryptocurrency and digital payments.

Eric van Miltenburg, Ripple’s senior vice president of Global Operations, said the initiative will help meet the growing demand for talent, learning, research, and project-based experience in blockchain and fintech more broadly.

“Academia has traditionally been a critical driver of technical innovation. The University Blockchain Research Initiative is an acknowledgment of the vital importance of the unique role universities will play in advancing our understanding and application of cryptography and blockchain technology.  It also speaks to the reality that university graduates will fuel a continually evolving and maturing financial marketplace and workforce,”


Bosun Adebaki, MBA 19, will spend time this spring researching the merits of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), a form of digital money that’s being tested by governments and central banks worldwide. His goal is to determine how central banks can use digital currencies to become more competitive, flexible, and efficient.

Adebaki, a fellow with the Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator (https://xcelerator.berkeley.edu/ and https://blockchain.berkeley.edu/), is among eight graduate students and seven faculty members from across UC Berkeley who received the first round of grants from the Berkeley Haas Blockchain Initiative, a new program funded by a grant from blockchain industry leader Ripple.

“It’s exciting to watch the Ripple UBRI Partnership gather momentum at Haas and across the Berkeley campus,” said Prof. Laura Tyson, faculty director of IBSI and former dean of the Haas School. “Individual companies and researchers can only accomplish so much. But by supporting a research network that spans across so many great universities and over five continents, Ripple is building a powerful program that could lead to important advances for not only the entire sector, but for the world.”

Fifteen research grants awarded

The first round of grants went to professors from Berkeley Engineering, the School of Information, and Haas, as well researchers from the Berkeley Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity and the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing. Haas Prof. Paul Gertler received funding for research focused on adoption of digital payment systems by small businesses in emerging markets, and Asst. Prof. Giovanni Compiani received a grant to study what drives demand for cryptocurrencies among both individual and institutional investors. Blockchain courses taught by Adam Sterling, executive director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Business, and Ikhlaq Sidhu, chief scientist and faculty director of the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, also received grants.

Eight students from Berkeley Law, Berkeley Engineering, the School of Information, the Department of Economics, and Haas each received smaller grants that will allow them to complete research projects within a semester.

Haas students participating, in addition to Adebaki, include Kate Tomlinson, MBA 20, and a business consultant for Blockchain@Berkeley, who will be researching applications of blockchain within the energy sector. Her project will dive deeper into the specific challenges of financial reconciliation, hardware integration, and data sharing as they apply to the energy sector. Lauren Fu, MBA 19, will research ways to assign vehicle accident liability by collecting and storing accident data using blockchain—so that the data collected will be auditable and tamper-free.

She256, co-founded by Sara Reynolds, BS EECS 21 and a Blockchain@Berkeley consultant, also received a grant to continue to develop the reach of the organization, a movement to increase diversity and break down barriers to entry in the blockchain space.



UBRI#5: University of Waterloo


To help shape the future of blockchain technologies, a funding opportunity is available for master’s and doctoral candidates.

Waterloo Engineering is offering fellowships, valued at up to $50,000 for master’s and $120,000 for PhD students, to undertake research in the blockchain field.

Most of the funding for the fellowships is provided by Ripple, a San Francisco-based technology company that specializes in digital payments and blockchain.

Recipients of the fellowships will join Waterloo researchers and others to advance research and innovation in blockchain, cryptography and digital payment systems.


a wide spectrum of research in the following areas:

  • Applications in Severless Cloud Computing
  • Blockchain for Social Good
  • Consensus Protocols
  • Cryptography and Security
  • Data Mining and Machine Learning
  • Distributed Systems
  • Scalability
  • Smart Contracts
  • Testing and Verification


The deadline to apply for a blockchain fellowship is February 1, 2019, with an anticipated start date of September 2019.

Annual fellowships valued at $25,000 per year (for Master's students) and $30,000 per year (for Doctoral students) will be awarded to eligible graduate students registered full time in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Waterloo. Fellowships will be awarded on the basis of academic excellence (e.g., minimum of 80% cumulative average or in each of the last two full-time academic years) and through demonstrated interest in how the applicant has increased diversity in the subject area and related field of Blockchain and distributed systems, Cryptocurrency and digital payments, and Cryptography, particularly as it relates to these research areas. Preference will be given to female graduate students who meet the evaluation criteria and students with diverse experiences and backgrounds.


UBRI#6: University of Oregon


Formed in April 2018, Oregon Blockchain (https://www.oregonblockchaingroup.com/) is a student-run initiative with a goal of campus wide reach for education and innovation in the blockchain space. The group hopes to recruit students from across different disciplines to think about how blockchain will impact business and have a greater understanding of blockchain generally.

In June, the University of Oregon announced it is one of 17 universities worldwide in the University Blockchain Research Initiative (https://around.uoregon.edu/content/ripple-partnership-puts-uo-elite-company-blockchain-research)—a multiyear, multi million-dollar program founded by Ripple to support academic research, technical development, and innovation in blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital payments. Oregon Blockchain benefits from this gift through conference and curriculum rollout support.

Oregon Blockchain believes blockchain’s impact will be felt in six core areas: supply chain; financial markets; government; luxury assets, including sculptures, real estate, and collectible cars; advertising and journalism; and healthcare.

UO faculty members will develop curriculum and guide research, while Ripple will lend the support of its staff as well as technical resources to the UO and its other partner schools.

Ripple will also provide funds to support cybersecurity research for which faculty members from across campus can compete. Sventek can see natural collaborations between the new program and faculty in the Charles H. Lundquist College of Business and the School of Journalism and Communication, for example.

The technology essentially tracks the virtual fingerprint of everyone who touches a specific item, when that occurred and any actions they may have taken with it. This includes everything from transferring funds between two parties to complete the purchase of goods to tracking the path a box of tomatoes takes from a farmer’s field to your neighborhood grocery store.

“It may have come about because of bitcoin, but blockchain is becoming a very important technology not just for the financial industry but also as a way to track the movement of goods from one supplier to another,” Sventek said. “It’s a way to keep a supply chain secure through an entire distribution network.”

The new hire will be a member of the Center for Cyber Security and Privacy, the UO’s lauded interdisciplinary unit that is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security. Sventek expects to launch the hiring process in the coming weeks.


To be continued...I just started (first top row is done, holy **** it's a lot of work... :))


Wow, impressive work, Thank You!  Just your initial efforts on this quickly demonstrates how significant these research projects have the potential to become, and how varied they are. This is again, is a stroke of genius on Ripple's part, that will pay dividends in the long run that are almost unimaginable.

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Thanks, I fully agree. That's what some XRP HODLers fail to understand i.e. Ripple (the company) doesn't need to invest in just the XRP ecosystem. It's also fine to invest, from time to time, in some other interesting "by-products" and the "blockchain space" as a whole even though it doesn't have anything to do with the XRP ledger at first sight. This will be hugely beneficial for the XRP HODLers in the long run.

Not to mention that Ripple will buy all these potential spin-offs later on as part of their master plan for global dominance (muahahahaha, evil laugh mode ON :-))...

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5 hours ago, crypto_deus said:

To be continued...I just started (first top row is done, holy **** it's a lot of work... :))

Fantastic work @crypto_deus!  I like how you are breathing life into each of these initiatives in a way that helps people to relate to the curriculum. 

Note:  @scotty2ten is an active member of the XRP Community & has also, at times, made his viewpoints on legal matters known publicly.  For example, he analyzed the 'XRP / Security' topic and sent out a great multi-tweet on it.  Here's one thread from him:


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Excellent work thank you.

I don't see BTC, ETH or anyone else doing anything within light years of this initiative. Ripple must be gaining the most brilliant insights into the future of blockchain from this - I think they're setting themselves up to be THE leader of the industry well into the future.

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18 hours ago, crypto_deus said:

All right folks, let's dive into #UBRI initiative and see what is it all about. I see a lot of ******** and idiotic comments passing by about this UBRI initative. Let's see what kind of jobs are going to be created. I'm going to expand this topic as I go (I just started to look into this out of curiosity)...


Excellent stuff, excellent research, thanks much for this confidence booster!

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UBRI8-13 added, I'll try to keep this pace of adding approx. 6 UBRI projects per day hoping to finish by the end of the week (dammit, what crazy research did I start :-))... Thanks for the encouragements because this is definitely taking longer than anticipated but it's well worth it and I want to do it thoroughly otherwise what's the bloody point...  The more I read about this URBI intitative the more zerps I accumulate on a daily basis. :-)

From the above-mentioned, I can only conclude that Ripple is really engaged in this whole project. Team Ripple is traveling and helping and I can only assume that some university (PhD) students/professors will go to Ripple HQ as well. To get more involved and have more interaction. I read that a lot of university people are focusing on REAL USE CASES (almost like Brad is whispering this directly into their ears :)) which makes me even more positive.

All in all, this URBI thing is awesome! And, it's clearly a long term project. It was announced in summer 2018, some universities started to get engaged already in fall 2018. Most of them started to hire people in 2019 and the new courses will start in 2019-2020. Basically, we just started but the future is bright #XRPCommunity.

Edited by crypto_deus

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18 hours ago, Zerpaholic said:

Excellent work thank you.

I don't see BTC, ETH or anyone else doing anything within light years of this initiative. Ripple must be gaining the most brilliant insights into the future of blockchain from this - I think they're setting themselves up to be THE leader of the industry well into the future.


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For now, the Ubri topic has now been finalized but this is an evolving field so updates will be posted from time to time. Please add your own findings and if you are by any chance working on these UBRI projects at one of these universities then definitely keep us up to date! :)

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